Gluten Free Blog Posts

August 4, 2021

The LookOut

Last weekend, we visited The LookOut - which is a fairly new restaurant at Lookout Farms. We had heard that they have good gluten-free options, so we decided to check it out.

How would you describe your experience? "It's kind of like going to a restaurant and ordering take-out to eat there."

The Look Out- Desktop
The Look Out- Mobile

Five things I Learned

There's plenty of tables. We were there on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and there were plenty of tables available.

The dining area is temporarily located near the train waiting area. You go up to the gazebo and they will direct you to a table to sit at. Once you arrive at the table you scan a bar code that opens up a menu at toast.com. After you place your order, a waiter will come to your table with your food.

We found the toast website to be tricky to work with. We found that we had to scroll a lot to add items to the cart. If you are stuck - ask someone at the gazebo.

They have gluten-free buns for their sandwiches - including the hot dog! The menu does describe the allergy ingredients so its easy to make the right choices.

The food was excellent! Juliana ordered the cheeseburger - no surprise! She ate most of it. The bun looks to be Udis Classic Hamburger Buns. The hamburger came with a side bag of Cape Cod potato chips.

We'll be Back!

The food at the Lookout was good, and it felt nice to be sitting outside on a mild summer day. We had a very good experience - minus the whole food ordering thing.

The ordering wasn't all that bad, just weird that that you simply scan the bar code - no instructions on ordering or specials.

July 28, 2021

Gluten Free Oreos

One of the downsides of being a celiac is not trying some of the popular cookies. Sure there are alternatives - but it's not the same. It's kind of like being at a birthday party. You can only drink Walmart brand soda while everyone else is drinking Coke-Cola. It might be good, but its not the same. (Try the store brand challenge and see for yourself!)

This is how people with celiac feel. They do feel a bit left out. Earlier this year, there was some good news on the snack front.

In January 2021, Nabisco started shipping Gluten Free Oreos. Yes, the same Oreos that everyone loves, is now available Gluten Free.

Oreo 2021 Mobile
Oreo 2021 Desktop

Its a Hit!

My daughter tried it and it's a hit! She absolutely loves them. They are better than any of the gluten-free Oreo "knock-offs." (We stopped buying different brands because they weren't good.)

They were hard to find in January and February but now available in every supermarket that we visit - including Target and Walmart.

We typically buy a couple of packs just so that we have them available. She loved to snack on them.

I have tried the Gluten-Free Oreos and they are exactly like regular Oreos. There's no different taste or texture. I don't know how they did it. But it does taste great.

Five Things I Learned

  • Gluten Free Oreos were announced in November 2020 and came out in January 2021. We were able to get it on January 25.
  • They look exactly the same as regular Oreos, except they do say Gluten-Free on the cookie. (Its hard to see the words)
  • Most stores stock them with regular Oreos. They tend to stand out more because of the white packaging. I am guessing that they don't put them with other Gluten-Free foods because Nabisco comes in the store and stocks them.
  • The Gluten-Free Oreo costs about 20% more than the standard Oreo. I have noticed that they don't go on sale as frequently as regular Oreos. They were on sale early on as a promotion to get the word out.
  • Did you know that the Gluten-Free cookies segment accounted for the highest revenue share of more than 32% in 2020 (Among Baked Gluten-Free goods.) - according to the Gluten-free Baking Mixes Market Report.
July 21, 2021

Celiac Vaccine Update

Back in January, 2019, I wrote about how the Nexvax2 was in Stage 2 trials. This vaccine would help people with celiac disease to occasionally enjoy foods that may contain gluten.

I thought I would follow up on the update of the testing.

Celiac Vaccine Update

Nexvax2 Trial has been discontinued

Unfortunately testing didn't go well. Six Months into Phase 2, and the trial was stopped.

The results of the trial showed that the vaccine didn't provide any more protection from gluten when compared to the placebo.

The official statement from June 25, 2020:

The results from an interim analysis revealed Nexvax2 did not provide statistically meaningful protection from gluten exposure for celiac disease patients when compared with placebo.

ImmusanT, Inc is a biotechnology company focused on developing a treatment, and a set of diagnostic and monitoring tools to manage patients with Celiac disease.

Next Steps for ImmusanT

ImmusanT has closed its doors shortly after stopping the Nexvax2 trial. Any testing information is likely to be Vatera Healthcare Partners as they were the primary backers to ImmusanT.

While it's disappointing to hear that Nexvax2 didn't make it. There are plenty of other trials still in play.

Zedira Phase 2b Trial

Earlier this month, the New England Journal of Medicine featured a story about an experimental drug called ZED1227 that looks to be promising to those diagnosed with celiac disease. (A Randomized Trial of a Transglutaminase 2 Inhibitor for Celiac Disease)

According to early testing, patients on the drug showed fewer signs of intestinal damage when eating a biscuit with some gluten.

As part of the study, patients have to take a pill every morning and and once in a while they would eat a biscuit that contained a trace of gluten.

Zedira is still moving forward with the phase 2b study in Europe.

July 14, 2021

Kanes Donuts

Finding a place that makes good gluten-free donuts may seem like an impossible task. Not in the Boston area,

Kane’s Donuts is the place to go for not only awesome donuts but a great selection.

Kanes Gluten Free Donuts

Five Things We Learned

This past Spring we stopped at the Kane’s Donut shop in the Financial District in Boston. Here are some of the things we learned.

They had a large selection of Gluten Free donuts. We arrived moments after they open so we had a large selection to pick from.

Kane’s keep the donuts on a separate track from the other donuts in the shop. They will move it so you can see what is available.

Gluten Free Donuts are expensive

They taste awesome! My daughter loved them so much that we went back a couple of days later to get more. To her, It was a real treat to get delicious donuts from a donut shop. She really liked the glazed donuts.

You can order the donuts online. Order online for early morning pickup to ensure the freshest selection and variety.

July 7, 2021

Stuffed Puffs

One of the hot food products this year is the Stuffed Puffs. This is a marshmallow with some chocolate inside. Making this the perfect S’more marshmallow.

I was surprised to find some at a local Market Basket. So I picked up a couple of packages.

Stuffed Puffs

My daughter was delighted that I brought some home and couldn’t wait to make s’mores.

She had a couple of them and thought they were just okay. I think she was expecting more chocolate inside.

We noticed that when we cooked them over the fire that the outside would sizzle as if it had a sugar coating.

That got me thinking - what is inside the marshmallow? So I checked the ingredients and was surprised to find its more than marshmallows and plain chocolate.

There is a bit of a surprise if you are a celiac- the marshmallow contains Wheat.

Stuffed Puffs Desktop
Stuffed Puffs Mobile

Facts from Stuffed Puffs

According to the Stuff Puffs frequently asked questions:

Stuffed Puffs® Classic Milk Chocolate and Chocolate-on-Chocolate flavors are inherently gluten-free, however, they are not a Certified Gluten-Free product. This is because while there is no wheat in the ingredient list they are made in a facility that processes wheat products.

Our Cookies &n Creme flavor does contain some wheat as it includes a cookie crumble filling.

Note: On their website, the ingredients don't list Wheat in the "Contained Ingredients".

My daughter didn’t encounter any Gluten side effects from eating the marshmallows. She said that she felt fine the next morning.

We were happy that she didn’t get sick and I felt bad that I didn’t check to see if the marshmallows were safe.

Now What?

We probably won’t use the rest of the marshmallows- out of caution. Instead, we may make our own stuff marshmallows

I think she likes making s’mores the old fashion way - with a recesses peanut butter cup instead of a Hershey bar.

April 11, 2021

Against the Grain Pizza

One of our favorite pizzas is the “Against The Grain.” While some people may shy away from it because it’s a Gluten-Free pizza - that would be a mistake.

Apparently people have this notion that gluten-free pizzas taste like cardboard. That is not the case with the “Above the Grain” pizza.

It’s really good and leftovers are pretty rare.

Against The Grain Pizza

Cooking The Pizza

We cook our pizza with a circular pizza pan. We cook it at 400-degrees for about 18 minutes. It’s a bit longer than the directions. We do this so the crust is nice and crispy.

Finding The Pizza

We get our pizza at Super Stop & Shop. They stock it with the other gluten-free items. Usually in a special foods section. It cost about $12 - about the cost of premium pizza that isn’t gluten-free.

You can find them at Wegmans and Roche Brothers.

It’s not available at Market Basket.

December 31, 2019

Best Gluten Free Posts

Today my daughter turns nine years old. She enjoys the challenges of finding good restaurants to visit.

This year we found some great new restaurants and new breakfast foods. It was fun coming up with topics and content every week.

Top 9 Blog Posts

Goals for 2020

In 2020 we'll be going around the City of Boston looking for great gluten-free foods. We'll try to find the best hamburger and pizza place in metro-Boston.

December 24, 2019

Erica's Ristorante

Erica's Ristorante in Ashland, Massachusetts is a small Italian restaurant that has lots of great choices. The dining room was nice and quiet and we didn't have any problems getting a table at 7 pm on a Monday night before Christmas.

Ericas Ristorante

Five Things We Learned

Earlier this week we met up with friends and decided to try out the restaurant since we heard that they have gluten-free options.

We asked for a Gluten-Free menu on check-in, the host at the door said that just about anything on the menu can be made gluten-free. The waiter will give us the options. That didn't happen, the waiter only told us what wasn't available not what was available.

They do not have gluten-free pizza crust.

They do not have any gluten-free rolls. Which I felt bad that everyone at the table was munching on bread except for my daughter.

They have gluten-free pasta, so my daughter had the pasta and red sauce.

The pasta was delicious - as she ate the whole thing. Usually, she wants to bring some home, but tonight she wanted to enjoy the pasta.

Finding Erica's Ristorante

Erica's Ristorante is located on 78 Front Street in Ashland, Massachusetts. It's located next to the Ashland Public Library.

We had a good experience and certainly put it on our list to return to this establishment.

December 17, 2019

Margaritas Chips

This weekend we went to Margaritas in Northborough, it was our first visit to this location. We were happy to go here and then head over to Wegmans to do some grocery shopping.

We love going to Margaritas, they have great gluten-free options. My daughter loves the Make Your Own Fajitas with corn wraps.

When we sat down we told our server that we needed gluten-free chips. She told us that it would take a couple of minutes and they would get us a basket of gluten-free chips that would be baked. She did leave a basket of regular chips.

A few minutes later someone came by with the gluten-free chips and put it on our table. This is what our table looked like:

Margaritas2019 Chips

What was strange to us is that the chips looked different. We have eaten at Margarita's plenty of times, but this is the first time that we noticed a significant change between the chips.

I don't know if Margaritas is using a different supplier for the gluten-free chips. It just seemed weird to see the two baskets side by side. (I never took pictures before because it wasn't a noticeable difference.)

Both chips were equally good. (The Gluten-free ones were nicer because they were warmer.)

Let me know what you think. Did Margaritas make some change or is this something unique to the Northborough location.

December 10, 2019

Gluten Free Shelf Label

Supermarkets have been great putting gluten-free merchandise next to each other. They usually put a large sign so people know where to find Gluten-Free items.

Some stores even highlight Gluten-free products when they are placed with other products.

However, Market Basket might have gone slightly overboard with this placement:

Temptations Gluten Free2
Do you really need to highlight Gluten Free treats?

It seems that putting a "Gluten-Free" on the UPC shelf label for cat food is a bit too much. When I first saw it in the store, my first thought was - "You have to be kidding me."

I get it that some cats/dogs need to eat gluten-free but do they merit a "gluten-free" label?

What do you think?

Put your thoughts in the comments below. Is Market Basket justified to putting a "Gluten-Free" label on the shelf label?

December 3, 2019

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is a popular National burger chain. It's much smaller than the "Big 3" burger companies - as they were born from a small kiosk to become a national success story.

There are seven places in Massachusetts - with most of the locations around Boston and Cambridge.

Recently we stopped at the Boston Seaport location - located across the street from the District Hall.

Shake Shack

Burger and French Fries

Earlier this month we stopped at the Seaport location for a late lunch. It was a very busy Saturday afternoon and a lot of restaurants were very busy.

We were very lucky to get a table after placing our order. The Seaport dining room is small - I suspect that most people use the take out during busy lunch hour.

They did have a Gluten-Free bun on the menu - so that made us happy. When we placed our order at the counter, we told the cashier that my daughter has Celiac. We wanted to know what the side options were. Were the French Fries cooked in a dedicated fryer?

He told us that it wasn't BUT he also told us that he was also a Celiac and said that the french fries were safe. He said that he has eaten it plenty of times and never encountered any issues.

So we took his word and order some french fried for my daughter. She seemed fine with the decision.

When we got our order she tried some of the fries and didn't like them. (I think she probably had second thoughts about it.)

Afterwards

We didn't encounter any issues with cross-contamination. Usually, when she gets some gluten she can be angry and in a mood. That didn't happen. She was a bit tired but most likely that was from all the fun playing around in the Seaport.

We'll go back to the Shake Shack again. It's a bit disappointing that they don't have much side options for gluten-free eaters.

November 26, 2019

Stew Leonard

Stew Leonard's is a small grocery store that claims to be the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores" and the "World's Largest Dairy Store." It's a fun place to shop and find all sorts of unique products.

The closest store to the Boston area is in Newington, CT - about an hour and 45 mins from Boston.

We visited the store back in April and was surprised to see "Gluten-Free" items promoted throughout the store.

Gluten Free Stuart Leonard

card-title">Three Things We Learned

It's a fun store for kids. There are lots of distractions - it's certainly not a typical Stop and Shop grocery experience.

The Chewy Chocolate Pecan Cookies were so good! People may get turned off because it's "Gluten-Free." However, if you never tried a gluten-free product before - you should try this. Yes you would never believe that it's Gluten-Free.

We didn't try the pizza, but it's nice to know that they have a gluten-free "store brand type." The price is nice too! Next time we are visiting people, we'll have to stop in and pick up one to try.

November 19, 2019

Make Your Own Gluten Free Pizza

We are a big fan of the Gluten-Free pizza at UNOs. It’s really good and it’s a fun place to be

Catch the previous UNOs blog postings:

There's one cool thing that you can only get at Unos:

Unos Gluten Free Pizza

Make Your Gluten Free Pizza!

Did you know that kids can make their own Gluten Free pizza at Uno's? Yup, it’s true. Celiac kids are not left out of making their own Gluten-Free Pizza.

When ordering the kids “Make Your Own Pizza,” make sure to ask for the gluten-free crust.

When we ordered ours at the Unos in Westborough, Massachusetts, the waitress was very good at makings sure to clean her hands and prevent any cross-contamination. Anytime that we asked for something with the pizza, such as more cheese she would excuse herself to wash her hands before taking any actions.

The pizza came out great and my daughter was delighted with the whole experience. She loved the pizza and more excited to come back.

I think her only "wish" was for more topping choices - tomatoes and olives are some of her favorites.

November 12, 2019

Georgina's Italian restaurant

Last month we attended a function at Georgina's Italian restaurant in Berlin, Connecticut. This is the first time that we visited this restaurant, we were a bit nervous about their Gluten-Free options.

Georginas

Three Things We Learned

The people hosting the party at Georgina let the catering team know ahead of time of the allergy. They said that they would provide a separate gluten-free penne for my daughter.

On the day of the event, they were very accommodating as to the gluten-free options. They explained to us which buffet items she could have. However, before the meal was served, there was a Vege and Cheese tray with crackers - lots of potential of cross-contamination.

My daughter loved the Panne and ate the whole thing. She did have some of the vegetables that was available in the buffet. She didn't feel left out of all the fun because she was eating a different meal. (I think she was very happy to have the penne dish.)

Definitely Recommended

We would recommend going here. They were very accommodating and their gluten-free pasta was very good.

In the general dining room, You can substitute gluten-free Penne for an extra $4.

November 5, 2019

Burtons Grill & Bar in Framingham

We have been going to Burtons Grill & Bar in Framingham since it opened back in March. It's a great restaurant that has a lot of great foods on the menu.

Burtons Grill Framingham
Burton's Grill & Bar in Framingham

Gluten-Free Options

Burton's has a scratch kitchen - which means that they can change up any order to meet your needs.

Burton's has a very large Gluten-free menu that has a lot of options for every taste. Check out the menu online!

My daughter loves to get a cheeseburger and french fries - it's "not as good" as Smash Burger but she still loves it.

The General Tso's Fried Cauliflower is amazing and it's Gluten-Free! It's the go-to thing that we order every-time we come here. Sometimes we make it as part of our meal. (Ya, It's that good!)

Gluten Free Framingham Burtons
General Tso's Fried Cauliflower and the Cheese Burger

Make Reservations!

If your going to Burtons on a Friday or Saturday night - it's highly recommended to make reservations. They reserve a large number of tables for reservations. So if you walk-in you may see a lot of empty tables and expect a short wait - that won't be the case.

Early this summer the restaurant didn't get much traffic. However, the word is out and it's a very popular place now!

Reservation Number: (774) 540-6005

Finding Burtons

Burton's Grill & Bar is located opposite Shoppers World - next to Legal Seafood. The address is 30 Worcester Rd, Natick, MA 01760.